The Pathway from PR to Citizenship

Once you become a permanent resident of Canada, you must consider whether you are eligible to apply for citizenship and when is the best time to apply to become a Canadian citizen.

Mandatory eligibility requirements for permanent residents to become Canadian citizens include:

  • Being a permanent resident.
  • Paying taxes and filing tax returns.
  • Those between the ages of 18 and 54 must pass a Canadian citizenship test.
  • Those between the ages of 18 and 54 must pass a language skills test.
  • Permanent residents must meet Canada’s physical presence requirements.

If you meet the first four factors outlined above, you must prove that you have physically spent three of the past five years in Canada. That amounts to a total of 1,095 days in the country. If you cannot prove it, you cannot be eligible for Canadian citizenship unless there are exceptional circumstances.

Spending time in Canada as a temporary resident or protected person means that you can count that time as being physically present in the country and will count as half a day. However, you can only use these days for up to 365 days for the physical presence requirement and no more.

Children under eighteen years of age applying for Canadian citizenship must still be permanent residents. However, the physical presence requirement can be waived for them.

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